Say Hello to ...
Tell us a little about yourself and your company ...
We are a greetings card company producing photographic and graphic greetings cards for retail; we have been in business for three years. I am the Photographer and Designer of all the images we use. I have worked as a professional photographer for over 20 years - shooting all sorts of images including fashion, advertising, lifestyle, portraiture, still life, landscapes, food and architecture both in the UK and abroad. The only thing I don't shoot is Weddings - apart from Dipingo's Wedding Collection of course, although that was more of a fashion shoot.
Describe your typical working day ...
I don't have a typical working day - I could be shooting in the studio or on location, doing post production on the computer, laying out the designs for printing, designing graphic images, producing the artwork for brochures, having strategy meetings with my partner Lianne, or blogging.
What is the best thing about your job?
One of the best things about my work is that no two days are the same and I can be flexible with my time. If inspiration strikes at midnight - I can work then. I always make sure I spend an hour a day walking the dog - it is good for him and for me, and I often find some of my best ideas come when I am trudging through the woods or by the lake. Oh yes, and working with Lianne is pretty good fun too!
Do you use any specialist techniques or equipment to create your products?
I use a Nikon Camera (plus studio lights and reflectors) and a MACBook Pro. I use Photoshop for all post-production and Indesign for layouts of cards and brochures.
The Products ...
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
My favourite design in the Collections changes all the time but I am very fond of one of our recently launched cards called 'NURSE' in the Dog's Life Collection. We photograph the dogs in the studio without any props. Afterwards we look at each dog and see what profession or situation we think is appropriate and then overlay the other elements of the design. This particular shot was just made to be "matron".
What are the most popular products in your range?
The most popular products in our range are 'Rugby Ball' from our Sports Collection and 'To Have and To Hold" from our wedding Collection.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on some new Words designs for our graphic ranges.
What do you have planned for 2013?
In 2013 we will be exhibiting at Top Drawer in January and PG Live in May - planning to launch several new Collections at each show. We are working on expanding our international business as well as growing the licensing arm of Dipingo.
What inspires your products?
Our products can be inspired by all sorts of things, from country life - we live in rural Kent - to modern architecture. On a recent trip to Venice I was struck by a rather messy old wall so while most of the tourists were photographing the sights, I was zoomed in on a two-foot square patch of peeling paint. Eventually it may feature in a future design....
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
We admire Caroline Gardner - a woman designer who started small and now has a design empire...we can dream.
What current or upcoming trend are you're coveting?
At the moment, we are loving the current trend for Victoriana - the faded elegance of an old wallpaper or print, it inspired our Mimi Collection which was designed to look like a faded painting - This one is called 'Rose'
Quick questions ...
What's your favourite book?
'Of Human Bondage' by Somerset Maugham
What is your favourite film?
What is your favourite album / band / song? (all 3 if you want!)
Not any particular genre or artist - at the moment I am listening to Lily Allen and Amr Diab
What is your favourite card or gift brand?
My favourite card brand is Hazel Bee
What is your favourite website or blog?
Favourite website has to be - Rankin - for pure inspiration, and favourite blog - 'Card and Gift Blog' - honestly! - it is the one I read most often!
What can't you live without?
I can't live without my Nikon, my Mac, builders' tea or Radio 4
Last but not least, what is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is watching America's Next Top Model with my 11 year old daughter - we record it so we can fast forward through all the bitching and screeching and just cut to the shoots and catwalk challenges. It is always fascinating to watch other fashion photographers at work.
Thank you Katy!
Pop back this afternoon to see a sneak preview of some of the new collections Dipingo Design will be launching at Top Drawer.